Regime Official Admit The Arrest of 4,600 Young Iranians During 2018 Nationwide Uprising
In an interview with the state-run media, Hassan Abbasi, an official in the Iranian regime’s Revolutionary Guards (IRGC), admitted that around 4,600 young Iranians were arrested during the nationwide uprising in 2018.
A Nationwide Uprising
In the early days of 2018, the Iranian people rose up in protest against the regime’s repressive policies and human rights abuses. The protests quickly spread across every Iranian province, affecting every major town and city.
It took the regime several weeks to restore stability and quash the protests. Thousands of protestors were arrested, many of whom were tortured in prison and subject to the gross human rights violation. At least 14 young people died in regime custody. In an attempt to cover up its crimes, the clerical regime claimed that the 14 protestors had committed suicide.
The episode served to illustrate the regime’s brutality, violence, and desire to hold onto power at all costs.
Playing Down the Events of 2018
Since the nationwide uprising, the regime has sought to downplay the severity of the protests. In comments to state-run media networks, Hassan Abbasi said: “What happened in 2018 was 4500-4600 of these young people in the street who were arrested.”
The People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK), the largest political opposition group, contests these numbers. It asserts that the true figure of protestors imprisoned following the 2018 uprising is closer to 8,000.
It Shows No Sign of Letting Up
The arrests and persecution of protestors continued through 2018 and into 2019. Many of those arrested languish in jail, in inhumane conditions and without access to lawyers or a fair trial. Once convicted, often in little more than kangaroo courts, they serve long prison sentences for their disobedience.
Just two weeks ago, Abdollah Ghassempour, a political prisoner, was sentenced to death on trumped-up charges of “aggression” and “collusion against the regime” for his role in the protest movement. Among the charges was “membership and propaganda and cooperation” with the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (MEK /PMOI). Three others received five-and-a-half-year prison sentences on similar charges.
#Iran:Criminal Sentences of Execution+Prison for #MEK Supporters
Notorious henchman Moghiseh,sentenced a pol.prisoner 2death,on bogus charges of"aggression","assembly&collusion against IRI","membership,propaganda&cooperation w/#MEK#FreePoliticalPrisonershttps://t.co/zpVutAcsSP
— NCRI-FAC (@iran_policy) May 23, 2019
In a statement, the Iranian resistance condemned the arbitrary arrest, torture, imprisonment, and execution of political prisoners. It called on the UN and its Secretary-General, High Commissioner and Human Rights Council to intervene in Iran and pressure the regime to release those detained on political charges. It also urged international human rights delegations to request access to Iranian prisons and meet with political prisoners.